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Cyber lock on a screen. Proactive organizations recognize the importance of cybersecurity exercises in testing their defenses and measuring response in the face of different cyberattack scenarios. (Photo: Song_about_summer/Shutterstock)

The threat of security incidents and cyberattacks looms large for every organization. Data breaches rose 17% in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Preparing your defenses to guard against and deal with the aftermath of a cyberattack is challenging, but it’s vital to strive for resilience to reduce the potential damage. While cyber insurance can help mitigate some of the expense, with the average total cost of a data breach pegged at $3.86 million, according to the Ponemon Institute, and 280 days as the average time to identify and contain it, the need for action could not be clearer.

Proactive organizations recognize the importance of cybersecurity exercises in testing their defenses and measuring response in the face of different cyberattack scenarios. These exercises can prove invaluable in identifying weak spots, improving processes and technology, and in crafting recovery plans that minimize the fallout of a breach. While many businesses run cybersecurity exercises, few manage to extract maximum value from them. Here are five ways to do exactly that.

1. Review the exercise and feedback

It’s only by assessing the cybersecurity exercise in-depth that you can gain insights into what action needs to be taken to improve your defenses and overall response. This exercise review must be methodical. Discuss problems that arose, pore over the feedback that participants provided, and analyze where your organization’s strengths and weaknesses lie.

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